Friday, April 27, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Day 7
Last Day in Bod Mi Limbe

This would be a ½ day of clinic as we had to pack up and had much work to do. Regretfully, for the villagers, it was raining most of the night and now into the morning. This morning we had villagers lined up outside our bedroom doors in the clinic at 6:30am. I could hear Carl, after poking his head through the window exclaim, “I can’t believe they are here already!” This being our last day, many villagers came without the cards that are distributed that would ensure them a visit, as we cannot see all the villagers each trip. This meant that many were unable to see a doctor and would have to wait until our next trip.
The lab would be busy as usual, but we knew all would be well under control, as the Lab Lady (Mel) was on the job!
Mel reports:
“The lab was no one’s favorite place. Everyone came in knowing they would have to get pricked by a needle or pee in a cup. Needless to say I didn’t make too many friends being the “lab lady”. My job was to test patients for malaria, TB, pregnancy, and urine analysis. On an average day I would test 50 cups of urine and twenty samples of blood. One memorable moment for me was while I was doing a urine analysis for a 2 month old boy. The mother removed the diaper and the boy instantly began to urinate all over the place. The mother began yelling in Creole at me. I still don’t know what she said but I ran and got a cup and proceeded to try and catch the urine which was covering me, the mother, the lab, and the boy! Happily we were successful in obtaining the urine and he is one patient I will never forget. I really enjoyed working in the lab because it gave me the opportunity to interact with people and help them to be treated fully.”

Mel also reports to the team that she “so takes Pepto Bismol three times a day” and she can always be counted on to distribute her pharmaceutical wares generously where required. Right Michelle?

…and now to backtrack…

An Entry from the diary of Dr. Roxanne:
Saturday, April 21, 2007

“Jo, Mwele, and I packed up for our hike to Bouchi. As we walked through the town several people approached Jo looking for cards to be seen at the clinic and he had to tell them we were full. As we approached the village we saw several women walking with large loads on their heads. They stopped to stare at us and asked us where we were going. As we entered the village, crowds of children approached us laughing and smiling at the blanc. Bouchi is a little different than BML, with the huts separated more. Each family seems to have a little more land and they often have a garden and a fence. The houses are still mostly made of sticks and mud with tin roofs. It was fascinating to go inside some of the homes; dark and small and mostly dirt floors. We would sit on small woven chairs and with Jo translating I would do a medical visit. I saw one elderly lady on her veranda while all her neighbors looked on. When she needed to lie down for an exam, they quickly pulled out a bamboo mat for her. There were a lot of sick and malnourished children running around filthy and naked, but most had smiles on their faces.”

Later that afternoon, Carl gave a sexual heath talk to the men while Roxanne & Tiffany did the same for the women. Both were well attended. In the women’s room a brief anatomy lesson was given followed by a condom demonstration using a plantain. An older women told the girls “if you don’t want your boyfriend to have sex with you then just don’t shower”. Many of the women were interested in forming a women’s heath committee in the future. The local men showed boisterous enthusiasm during Carl’s talk. Some of them literally crawling in through the windows to get in. The delighted men left with handfuls of condoms and newly enlightened.

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